To be revolutionary is to love your life enough to change it, to choose struggle instead of exile, to risk everything with only the glimmering hope of a world to win.
The question is not whether we will be extremist but what kind of extremist will we be.
You do not become a “dissident” just because you decide one day to take up this most unusual career. You are thrown into it by your personal sense of responsibility, combined with a complex set of external circumstances. You are cast out of the existing structures and placed in a position of conflict with them. It begins as an attempt to do your work well, and ends with being branded an enemy of society.
It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.
Rebels and dissidents challenge the complacent belief in a just world, and . . . they are usually denigrated for their efforts. While they are alive, they may be called “cantankerous,” “crazy,” “hysterical,” “uppity,” or “duped.” Dead, some of them become saints and heroes, the sterling characters of history. It’s a matter of proportion. One angry rebel is crazy, three is a conspiracy, fifty is a movement.
Gerry’s friends, you see, had no confidence in the United States judicial system. They did not seem comfortable in the courtroom, and this increased their unreliability in the eyes of judge and jury. If you trust the authorities, they trust you back, it seems.
The law is above the law, you know.
It is hard to believe that a man is telling the truth when you know that you would lie if you were in his place.
Juries scare me. I don’t want to put my faith in people who weren’t smart enough to get out of jury duty.
This land is your land and this land is my land, sure, but the world is run by those that never listen to music anyway.
An environmental setting developed over millions of years must be considered to have some merit. Anything so complicated as a planet, inhabited by more than a million and a half species of plants and animals, all of them living together in a more or less balanced equilibrium in which they continually use and reuse the same molecules of the soil and air, cannot be improved by aimless and uninformed tinkering.
We’re far more concerned about the desecration of the flag than we are about the desecration of our land.
Freedom to cut down world’s oldest trees / Freedom to make Indians get down on their knees / And pray to your God and obey your FBI / And freedom to protest if you’re not too scared to die.
I’m not the heroic type. I was beaten up by Quakers.
I think the greatest legacy of the 1960s was the general feeling that not only can you fight the powers that be, but you can win.
Don’t let them tame you!
I am, and always have been, a revolutionary writer, because our laws make law impossible; our liberties destroy all freedom; our property is organized robbery; our morality is an impudent hypocrisy; our wisdom is administered by inexperienced or mal-experienced dupes, our power wielded by cowards and weaklings, and our honor false in all its points. I am an enemy of the existing order for good reasons.
Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.
Do not believe the truth. The truth is tiny compared to what you have to do.